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CARMEN is a three-year Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP) funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Program. The CARMEN access network will complement existing access technologies by exploiting low cost mesh networking techniques, thus minimizing deployment and maintenance costs. The CARMEN architecture introduces an abstraction layer that hides the specifics of the underlying access technology providing an abstract interface on top of which higher layers can be easily developed. This allows for the integration of current and future heterogeneous wireless technologies to provide scalable and efficient mobile ubiquitous Internet access, able to adapt to different environments and user requirements. Following these goals, CARMEN aims to define, study and implement link and technology abstractions, mobility support, and quality of service. The architecture also includes advanced monitoring features that allow for dynamic self-configuration, thereby reducing the installation and operational costs.